David Caretto on Valley Veterans


David Caretto, December 2013 ____ It was our privilege to attend the Marine Corps Ball at the Elks Lodge.  This is a special event for those Marine Corps veterans, families and those with any military background or interest.  Once again they honored the youngest Marine--Nick Pfeifer, 18, who had just graduated from basic training the day before and was back home in Big Bear--and the oldest Marine--Katie Dokter, 96, mother of Patti and Garry Dokter of Big Bear Lake.  The Cake Cutting Ceremony and other traditions are a wonderful celebration of the birthday of the Marine Corps.  We appreciate being invited each year by the Marine Corps League, and I would encourage you to attend in the future.


Cindy and I also attended the Veterans Day Ceremony at the Convention Center on Monday, and as usual it was a fitting tribute to all of our Veterans.  It was very well attended this year, and the speaker, Air Force Captain Goldsmith (of the wonderful local Goldsmith family) was great.  It is so nice to see how our community honors Veterans, especially after the great success of the Vietnam Traveling Wall (Kudos to Vince Smith and all involved in that wonderful event).  


It was also a special week for our own military family too, as our oldest son, Captain Peter Caretto, U.S. Army Special Forces, returned safely from a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan. We are so grateful, but we were, unfortunately, not able to be at Fort Lewis, WA to welcome him home; however, we are looking forward to seeing him here in Big Bear Lake over the holidays.